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Smokers and Drinkers and the Grand Princess

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Disappointed with Princess...

 

I tried to purchase a carton of cigarettes in the gift store, only to be told by the cashier that premium brands will be delivered to my stateroom at the end of the cruise.......what? I was told that if I wanted cigarettes during the cruise, to either purchase a pack at any of the bars($$$) or to bum from someone. I asked why they are doing this with tobacco and the answer was because of a new "Texas" law. I have never heard of such law and apparently neither has Carnival nor RCI. If I purchased non-premium cigarettes, then it is ok, I can take them back to my stateroom after the purchase is complete?............bullsh#t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What kind of law is this?

 

For all of you alcoholic drinkers, BEWARE!!!! Princess is ripping its customers off by providing what they call a "proper shot".....half a jigger instead of a full shot....whole jigger. We had to order triple shots in all of our drinks just to taste the alcohol. My alcohol bill was almost triple the amount as compared to my average alcohol tab on Royal Caribbean. Imagine that, triple shots for someone who rarely drinks back home. Something is definitely wrong here.

 

Princess should be ashamed of themselves!!

 

I already have our boarding documents for our Feb 19, 2005 cruise on the Grand but I am canceling today and going back to the Rhapsody of the Seas for a Feb 20, 2005 cruise instead. I doubt I will sail on the Grand again unless they change their "greedy" ways.

 

Fausto

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Fausto, you were going to the wrong bar. Armando in the Wheelhouse bar poured me very strong drinks, half of which he did not charge me for. My bar bill was half of what it normally is. I drank more than I usually do on a cruise. Also if on the Grand go see Arnold on the 15th floor above the pool. Strong pourer and recieved free ones also. tell them Melissa sent you. I had to ask for water with my drinks, bourban and sevens to stay straight most eveings.

 

As far as cigarettes go this has been the same on all my Princess cruises. They changed to not letting you have till the end late last year. Same thing happened on the Regal and the star. I just bought cheap cigs in Mexico which are cheaper anyway. Also its the only time I can afford to smoke Dunhills as they are cheaper by the pack on board than at home by 2.00 a pack.

 

Melissa

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Also we went on the Jewels of the Seas recently and found the drinks weaker and more expensive. Cigartttes I could get though.

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I have always been of the impression that alcohol and tobacco purchased in the duty-free shops could only be picked up the day before disembarkation. Other lines might do it differently. I've rarely had off-ship alcohol purchases held until disembarkation, however, except in Grand Cayman where everything is sent to the ship.

 

As for short-shots, I've had to remind the occasional bartender that I'm paying for a full shot. Personally, if I'd run into repeated offenses, I would have asked to speak to supervisory staff on board. There really is no incentive for bartenders to short the passengers; it's not like it's their own private stock their pouring - unless of course, they are trying to balance their inventory to cover for bottles that somehow wound up below decks. Something like that definitely needs to be brought to the attention of management.

 

I hope you communicate your concerns to management, particularly the liquor issue. That is potentially quite serious. Maybe we'll see you one of these days on Rhapsody, Fausto. It was a pleasure meeting you and your friends.

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I have not sailed with Princess for about 3 years but will be this April on the Island. Can you buy smokes on board? I have never heard of a cruise line not letting you buy them and take them back to your cabin. What is a non premium brand and do I understand correctly, that you can take a carton of non premium smokes to your cabin from the ships duty free store but not a carton of Premium? This will be a 15 day cruise and I was planing on saving some money on smokes, maybe not. Can you buy Cigars at the ship shop and take them back to your cabin?

 

Thanks.

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I went on the grand last year out of FLL. I didnt bring enough of cigaretts for I knew i could buy them on the ship. Surprise, they told me they would send them to my room the night before we docked. I could buy them at a bar for quite a bit a pack, but they do not sell 100's. I had no choice but to do so. When we stopped in Grand Cayman 3 days into the cruise. I found a drugstore and bought my 100's. Not cheap. On friday in cosumel I bought my carton and i took out a pack right away for I had to check it in with customs. When we went back to the ship they gave me my cigarttes and i took them on the ship. Living here in South Florida the Indians and a Walgreens actually sell them cheaper. St Martin yes very cheap. So last Oct on the CP i made sure i brought enough. Now Carnival and Celebrity , the other cruise lines I went on . I bought my cartons and took them right back to my stateroom. I also purchased liquor on Carnival and was able to also bring that back to my room. Yes Princess has some crazy rules.

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Princess only allows cigarettes purchased by THE PACK at bars onboard. It has always been this way since we began cruising with them. Nothing has changed recently, just their rules for some reason. Does it make sense? NOPE, never have understood it. But it is their rules and nothing can be done about it.

 

RCI is totally different, you can purchase a carton of cigarettes at the shop and take them back to your cabin immediately, but not on Princess. Sorry!

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Princess only allows cigarettes purchased by THE PACK at bars onboard. It has always been this way since we began cruising with them. Nothing has changed recently, just their rules for some reason. Does it make sense? NOPE, never have understood it. But it is their rules and nothing can be done about it.QUOTE]

 

I don't know if rules have changed, but I was able to purchase premium cigarettes on board and take them with me on both of my cruises on Princess. One cruise was in 04/02 and the other was in 12/03. Maybe something has changed.

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Nessi, by the pack or by the carton? I know that they allow carton purchases during the cruise but they don't let you have them until the final night onboard. Or at least that is the way it has been on all of our past Princess cruises.

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I asked why they are doing this with tobacco and the answer was because of a new "Texas" law. I have never heard of such law and apparently neither has Carnival nor RCI. If I purchased non-premium cigarettes, then it is ok, I can take them back to my stateroom after the purchase is complete?............bullsh#t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What kind of law is this?

 

I'm sorry you didn't have someone explain it better to you.

 

On the Grand in December, we learned a little about it.

 

 

This applies to *Texas Residents* only.

 

You can purchase only 1 liter of duty free alcohol. Anything over that is taken from you. Non residents can buy 4 liters. Non residents also cannot go over the 4 liter limit or they lose it. Cigarettes are a little different. I believe it's a 3 or 4 carton limit for Texas residents (I'm not a resident, but I don't smoke, so I'm not sure how this effects non residents)

 

The law went into effect about 4 weeks before our cruise, so early November is when it started. It applies to any type of entry into Texas. Air, ship or car.

 

I think it's one of the most ignorant laws I've ever heard of. I wish the cruise lines would pitch a fit over it because they stand to lose money.

 

LES!

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Hi there. I'm going on the Sun Princess next Friday. (The 28th.) I've never heard of this kind of policy on any cruise line with regard to cigarettes, and I have never had a problem, buying a carton onboard and taking it to my cabin immediately. I will plan for this issue and buy/bring my own, but I will try to get to the bottom of this for the benefit of future cruisers and post it here when I get back....

 

Just wanted to say that I think this really stinks if it is in fact the case...and I suspect it has NOTHING to do with customs and everything to do with inflated pricing on individually priced packs at the bars. In any case, I hereby promise to investigate this matter once I am onboard. I realize that the OP had to do with the Grand, sailing an entirely different itinerary than mine, however, since the OP was told this was company policy and new "laws" in Texas, I am certain I can find out if this is true or not.

 

In the future, for other new cruisers or first time cruisers: If you want to know the real skinny on stuff, bypass the Excuse Du Jour Department (Customer Service or Purser's) and go straight to the bars with a five dollar bill in hand once you are actually onboard.....the bartenders are generally more honest, at the very least.

I have gotten more dirt on other cruise lines this way, and I have gotten it straight up, neat, no ice, no BS and immediately, without standing in line.

 

;)

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After 13 Princess cruises, I swear to you that if I need to buy cigarettes onboard, I can only purchase a pack across the bar. If I want cartons, they would never let me take them with me but delivered them to our cabin the last evening onboard. Even when I begged and pleaded because the stores had my brand where the bars did not. :(

I got stuck on a B2B from hawaii to Tahiti, as our previous cruise had been on RCI and they allow you to buy them in the store and take them with you. I totally forgot about Princess rule, so I was buying them by the pack across the bar for the entire cruise. Got pretty expensive, that's for sure, it was a 24 day cruise, as by the pack across the bar there is not a lot difference then buying them by the pack here at home.

You bet cha that the first port in Hawaii I was headed for the nearest discount store.

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After 13 Princess cruises, I swear to you that if I need to buy cigarettes onboard, I can only purchase a pack across the bar. If I want cartons, they would never let me take them with me but delivered them to our cabin the last evening onboard. Even when I begged and pleaded because the stores had my brand where the bars did not. :(

I got stuck on a B2B from hawaii to Tahiti, as our previous cruise had been on RCI and they allow you to buy them in the store and take them with you. I totally forgot about Princess rule, so I was buying them by the pack across the bar for the entire cruise. Got pretty expensive, that's for sure, it was a 24 day cruise, as by the pack across the bar there is not a lot difference then buying them by the pack here at home.

You bet cha that the first port in Hawaii I was headed for the nearest discount store.

 

Hi Toto...I completely believe you. And this is exactly why I think this has nothing to do with customs or some new "Texas" law...if it did have something to do with such laws, ALL cruiselines would be complying and they are not....no other cruise line, that I know of, does this and this is why I suspect it is a moneymaking scheme unique to Princess.

 

It was your post that convinced me to plan ahead and bring my own. But once I get onboard, I'm heading straight to the bar for a double Bushmills neat, and a little chat with the bartender....

 

God bless!

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Definitely nothing to do with any Texas law, unless Hawaii is part of Texas, and Australia is part of Texas, and Asia, and Florida and San Diego. LOL

 

Make sure to share the info you get from the bartender, they usually know more than anyone else onboard. ;)

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Hi Toto...I completely believe you. And this is exactly why I think this has nothing to do with customs or some new "Texas" law...if it did have something to do with such laws, ALL cruiselines would be complying and they are not....no other cruise line, that I know of, does this and this is why I suspect it is a moneymaking scheme unique to Princess.

 

It was your post that convinced me to plan ahead and bring my own. But once I get onboard, I'm heading straight to the bar for a double Bushmills neat, and a little chat with the bartender....

 

God bless!

 

In this instance, it only applies to Texas residents cruising from Texas (or flying and driving *I think*) So it wouldn't be industry wide. Again, I can only varify alcohol sales because I was with the Texan friends when they tried to buy alcohol.

All cruiselines are complying (according to the people we talked to) that sail out of Houston or Galveston.

LES!

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In this instance, it only applies to Texas residents cruising from Texas (or flying and driving *I think*) So it wouldn't be industry wide. Again, I can only varify alcohol sales because I was with the Texan friends when they tried to buy alcohol.

 

All cruiselines are complying (according to the people we talked to) that sail out of Houston or Galveston.

 

LES!

 

I was one of those Texans travelin' with LES! .. He asked that I take a look see at this here site and see what the heack y'all were talkin' 'bout.....

LES! is right .... as it was explained to me, it is not a NEW law , but one that is now being ENFORCED .. and I don't think the cruise line benefits as they CANNOT SELL US LIQUOR in quantity .... Less sales for them so I am sure they are not very happy about this either ... and trust me, Texans can drink ...

I was VERY disappointed, I had planned to stock up ... since I was only going to be allowed ONE, I DECLINED to buy ANY .... I had friends who cruised in October on another cruise line and they each brought back 5 bottles each ... NO PROBLEM ... I warned them and we will see if they have a change on their next crusie ....

 

I had to watch while our friends from other states bought their liquor.....

I also have a friend who told me that when she FLEW to California wine country they WOULD NOT SELL HER ANY WINE TO TAKe home AS SHE WAS FROM TEXAS AND THE TEXAS STATE LAWS WOULD NOT ALLOW ALCOHOL TO CROSS THE STATE LINE INTO TEXAS ..... SOOOOOOO , The Texans need to find out what the heck is going on ... So most of you know, we JUST got it aprroved to have WINE sold in our town ... I had to buy wine on my way home from work as my town was DRY {except for beer} until recently ... and Liquor I still have to buy in Dallas as it is not sold in my town either ... it is all about the MONEY

They certainly aren't discouraging drinking.. we know where to get the stuff.. they are just hampering commerce in certain areas ...

My thoughts.....

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So, 1 gallon equals 3.78 liters, which means that non-residents can bring 5-750ml bottles back, or 3 1-liter bottles plus a 750ml. This is good to know: my parents and I can bring back 11 750ml bottles from our cruise on Elation (since they are Michiganians).

 

It in interesting that Texans can actually import 3 times as much alcohol according to the TABC, as long as it is wine. Technically we can only bring back 1 750ml or 800ml bottle since a full liter is more than a quart. However, we can bring back 11 liters of wine, or 15 750ml bottles. Per person, per month.

 

 

Leslie, was your friend trying to ship the wine back? Otherwise, they would not have any way to know she was from Texas (or perhaps the lesson here is "don't ask, don't tell" ;) ). I have heard that the workaround for this is to have the wine shipped to a place of business, though I don't know if it strictly legal and/or if it needs to be a liquor store. Still, if you're going to send back a few cases from Cali, it seems fair to pay the store $20 a case to receive it. :D Worse case, I guess have it shipped to a family member and then reshipped to Texas.

 

 

FWIW, I was on the same cruise as Leslie and brought back 2 bottles. This was in one of the standard 3-bottle boxes and clearly marked with the contents. (I also brought back a good bit that I had brought along, but I assume that is legal since it had already been taxed.)

 

Mike

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mizsuzannah,

 

Forgive me if I'm mistaken but have you joined our roll call for the 1/28 Sun sailing?We have a great group and would love for you to join us.

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Nessi, by the pack or by the carton? I know that they allow carton purchases during the cruise but they don't let you have them until the final night onboard. Or at least that is the way it has been on all of our past Princess cruises.

 

On both cruises we purchased cartons and took them right out of the shop. The prices were a great deal compared to what we pay for smokes in California.

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Hi Nessi:

 

If you don't mind me asking, what brand of cigarettes did you purchase and take back to the cabin? Apparently, Marlboro Red, Lights and Ultra Lights are a premium brand and Prince$$ prohibits passengers from taking premium brand cartons back to their cabins after purchase is complete. If I buy a carton of Camels, I can take the carton to my cabin upon the completion of the purchase, but if I buy a carton of Marlboro's, I have to wait until the end of the cruise to receive them. And they(gift shop) had the nerve to tell me that this was a new Texas law? This is the reason we may never go back to Prince$$.....too much BS and not enough honesty, especially if this ridiculous tobacco policy is fleet wide.

 

Fausto

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buying liquor by the bottle seems to be standard on all the cruise ships I have sailed on that if you buy bottles at the booze shop onboard they hold it until last day and deliver it to the cabin. Cigarettes can be taken from the shop but there are limits for both coming into the country. I suppose that Texas has different laws due to still living in the past century and have restrictions on sin products but unlimited executions. Come north and sin all you want!

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Between the price for booze and the price for smokes, maybe Princess is moving slowly toward a "vice free" ship?

 

Some state laws restrict the purchase of imported types of cigarettes because of the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies. When an off-shore producer sells cigarettes that come into the US (even if from a cruise ship) it "dilutes" the smokes made by the US tobacco industry and the seller sometimes has to pay (and therefore pass on) a higher cost to the consumer.

 

I don't smoke, so it doesn't affect me, but I can sure see where the addicted would be upset.

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